In Genesis 15, God made a glorious agreement with Abraham. He instructed the patriarch to take a female heifer, a female goat and a ram and cut them all in two. Then Abraham was to take a turtledove and a pigeon and lay them on the ground, head-to-head. Abraham did as he was instructed, and as these creatures lay bleeding, vultures began to descend on the carcasses.

What did Abraham do when the vultures came? Scripture says he chased them away. This was a sacred sacrifice that Abraham would not allow to be defiled or rendered unfit for his Holy Lord. Likewise, the Lord has shown us a way to deal with ‘vultures’ or temptations and vain thoughts when they creep up on our spiritual sacrifices.

Whenever any voice of doubt or questioning God comes into my mind, I have to line it up against what I know about my loving Lord. I can’t accept any thoughts as true if they are simply based on what I am feeling in the moment. They must be measured against Jesus’ promises to me about himself and about the victory he has won for me.

If thoughts come to me that are accusing, if they cause doubt and fear or are condemning or bring a sense of rejection, I know they are not from God. We all have to be prepared for such dark and tormenting thoughts to come. Even the Lord Jesus was subject to these kinds of ideas from the enemy during his wilderness temptation. We don’t have to be afraid of the devil’s attacks, though, because Christ has given us mighty spiritual weapons of warfare.

When vultures come at you, bringing contemplation of your own unworthiness and insecurity, chase them away with God’s Word. The sacrifice that the Lord has led you to make is pleasing to him, and he will honor it.